You may wonder how the subjects of clutter and my father (with me and my mother in the picture above) are related. The connection lies in the mental equivalent of material clutter: the old notions, outdated goals and ancient quandaries people carry round with them long after they've ceased to serve a purpose.
Without any of us realising at the time, that was what happened to him when he left us in the 1970s to make a new life in his birthplace, Canada. He confused a fresh location with a clean slate. He couldn't escape the aftershocks of the upheaval he himself had made, and they coloured his outlook as darkly in the North American sunshine as had the overcast skies of England. He died soon after.
After he saw that his plans for a new start with a new partner were failing, I imagine him letting the house he'd bought and renovated for that purpose mirror his state of mind. I don't blame him, but his tragedy probably contributed to my own mental clutter, accumulated through my teens and later.
I spent years in the wilderness, as it appears now, being ineligibly single, goalless, unemployed or in dead-end jobs, inhabiting rented rooms which reflected my mental state in the same way - with small mountains of clutter.
As it turned out, though, it was not too late to get a decent job, to buy a house, to marry or have a child. Not too late to do something about the clutter, mentally and physically. And although I can't quantify any mental de-cluttering that occurred, I can describe how I tackled the organisation of our "stuff".
If you want to know what I did so you can try it yourself - or you're just curious - then (click here to continue)
This page revised on: 30th April 2014
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